The Western & Southern Open tennis tournament held a media event yesterday to announce the 2013 player field, as well as some of the new attractions that will be featured this year at the Linder Family Tennis Center out in Mason.
The annual tournament is one of the biggest among the non-majors for both men’s and women’s tennis, consistently featuring the game’s top players and serving as the last warm-up before the U.S. Open grand slam. American John Isner (ranked #21 in the world) told me two years ago that the condensed player field makes the W&S Open one of the toughest tourneys every season.
All of the top 40 players for the men and top 30 for the women are slated to compete when the matches kick off on August 10, with 15 grand slam winners among them. The big four of Novak Djokovic, Andy Murray, Roger Federer, and Rafael Nadal will be there for the men, with names such as Maria Sharapova, defending champ Li Na, and Venus and Serena Williams on the women’s side. Federer is the men’s returning champ and five-time winner of the W&S Open, while 2013 Wimbledon winner Andy Murray has come out on top twice in the Queen City. A win for Djokovic—currently ranked #1 in the world and last year’s runner-up—would be his first in Cincy and secure a career sweep of all nine of the men’s ATP World Tour Masters 1000 tournaments.
This year’s tournament festivities will also feature the return of an improved dining, drinking, and snacking scene at the Linder Center (CHICKEN & WAFFLES FROM TASTE OF BELGIUM, WOOT WOOT), introducing new additions such as Daveed’s, a wine garden, and a tequila bar. So clearly, you don’t have to be a sports fan to have a good time.
Jimmy Arias, former pro and current commentator for ESPN and Tennis Channel, was on-hand at the event to breakdown this year’s field of players. The weeklong tourney is hoping to exceed the 176,000 visitors that came out to the courts last season and capitalize on the tournament’s estimated $62.5 million economic impact. Bringing in more than 70 of the world’s best men’s and women’s tennis players should help with that. Same goes for the tequila bar.